NY Governor Signs Legislation to Minimize Barriers to Use of Geothermal Heating and Cooling

Gov. Kathy Hochul has signed legislation to minimize barriers to accessing geothermal heating and cooling systems to help reach the goals of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. The legislation aims to reduce costs for the installation of geothermal wells, helping New York meet the state’s building decarbonization requirements.
NY Governor Signs Legislation to Minimize Barriers to Use of Geothermal Heating and Cooling
NY Governor Hochul

“There is no time to waste when it comes to making lasting change to save our planet, and that requires significantly reducing building emissions using all available technologies,” Hochul said. “This legislation helps us take greater strides toward clean energy in ways that will have lasting effects on our environment and public health.”

The legislation aims to provide more appropriate oversight over geothermal drilling and mining by changing how certain wells drilled deeper than 500 feet below the Earth’s surface are regulated. Currently, they are regulated under the same provisions that cover oil and gas mines and drilling.

This legislation will create new provisions, streamlining regulation of geothermal boreholes while ensuring that all deep well locations throughout the state are adequately reviewed and that potential impacts from the drilling process are mitigated. The legislation also includes provisions to ensure the protection of public safety and the environment during the drilling process.

NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “Removing hurdles to allow more efficient access to new clean energy technologies will provide the path to our future, lowering or eliminating the reliance on fossil fuels in our homes which is fundamental to New York State achieving the goals of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. With today’s announcement, more New Yorkers will be able to take advantage of highly efficient heat pumps that can cool and heat homes at a fraction of the cost while building a more sustainable future for our children.”

This legislation builds on several actions to support the state’s work combatting climate change and reducing building emissions. Hochul announced the installation of 30,000 heat pumps for New York City public housing residents and joined the US Climate Alliance to announce a commitment to quadruple heat pump installations by 2030.

Geothermal heat pump systems are among the most efficient and comfortable heating and cooling technologies available, using the Earth to provide both space heating and cooling capabilities, and in some instances, hot water heating for residential and commercial buildings.

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